Ernst says send unused US military material to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says any unused U.S. military weapons and equipment originally intended for use in Afghanistan should be shipped to Ukraine.

“I will continue to advocate for already procured programs and capabilities that are programmed, budgeted, contracted, purchased and sitting in containers unused to go to those who need it the most,” Ernst said during a speech on the Senate floor.

Yesterday, the Biden Administration asked congress to approve $10 billion more in emergency spending on humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine. A spokesman for Ernst said the senator is encouraged by the request, but is still reviewing the proposal, which is linked to additional pandemic-related spending.

During her speech in the Senate yesterday, Ernst said the U.S. has an obligation to Ukraine that dates back to 1994. That’s when Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons — weapons abandoned as the Soviet Union fell apart.

“The United States intervened,” said Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak. “In exchange for protection from the greatest super power in the history of the world, Ukraine dismantled and surrendered their nuclear armament entirely. That agreement made the world a safer place.”

Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, Ernst said the U.S. must follow through on that 1994 agreement and provide far more lethal aid to Ukraine.